Author Archive

Revisiting, Revising, Reimagining Home in How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

Revisiting his 2013 essay collection has strengthened Kiese Makeba Laymon’s voice and allowed him to truly build a home in the space he keeps.

Cooking as an Heirloom in Memorial

Early on in Washington’s new novel, Benson asks his partner’s mother for a story about her son. She says that stories are heirlooms, explaining that they are “a personal thing…You don’t ask for heirlooms. They’re just given to you.” She tells Benson this while she is cooking. But by

The Power of Reading About Your Home

Jaquira Díaz’s 2019 memoir resonated deeply with me in a way that a bronzed Al Pacino never could, and that a book never had.

“I used to think that I had to choose between the page and the musical aspect of it”: An Interview with Kelly Harris-DeBerry

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Harris-DeBerry writes about freedom like someone who has felt the word in her mouth for years, felt the shape and sound of it, and has used the instruments of her voice and her page to translate it into something we can all understand.

Past as Place in Subduction

Kristen Millares Young’s novel explores the idea of people’s histories and stories, whether personal or communal, as places that can anchor or be explored and learned from.

Writing a Home for All My Ghosts

A home doesn’t feel like a home when there are structures built to immortalize those who dehumanized entire populaces. But it feels a little more like home when we’re marching, when we fill spaces with our bodies, our friends, our loves, our strangers, shouting out the names of the

The Grounding Power of the Past

The gravitational pull of the physical is a placeholder for the mental, emotional, and spiritual work that Sarah M. Broom’s 2019 book, and the stories within, is doing.

Breaking the Borders of Memories, Ghosts, and Shadows in The Lost Book of Adana Moreau

Michael Zapata’s new novel is a story about stories, literature about literature, a universe about universes. Memories, ghosts, and shadows all guide the protagonists as they try to keep their stories and homes and loves with them.

Reading City Without People: The Katrina Poems in an Isolated New Orleans

There’s a line in Niyi Osundare’s 2011 book that goes, “Enia lasoo mi,” which translates from Yoruba to English as, “People are my clothes.” Waking up to a seemingly emptied New Orleans, Christopher Romaguera had that line on his mind.

Language and Fronteras in Signs Preceding the End of the World

In Yuri Herrera’s 2009 novel, borders can be impenetrable surfaces, and language can open doors that can’t so easily be locked back.